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What Is the Purpose of Brace Elastics?

woman with braces at dentistAfter your braces have helped straighten out specific teeth, elastics (rubber bands) are used to adjust teeth in groups. This movement helps correct the relationship between upper and lower teeth, adjusting the way they bite together.

You can think of your upper and lower teeth like a zipper. If they do not come together properly, your bite does not work correctly. A healthy bite (occlusion) ensures the long-term health of your smile by preventing jaw joint issues or irregular wear patterns. Elastics help bring your upper and lower teeth together so that your occlusion closes and bites together in the healthiest manner possible.

How Long Are These Bands Worn With Braces?

Depending on the person’s smile, most orthodontic patients require elastics for about six months or so. Wearing them as directed ensures a faster response, reducing the time you’ll need to wear them (and how long you spend in braces).

Even though the rubber bands are removable for eating or cleaning your teeth, it’s important to wear them most of the day and change them out as directed.

Are Elastics Important?

Yes. Technically speaking, teeth only begin to move after about 16 hours of pressure or force is applied to them. Since most bands are worn for about 20-22 hours per day, they help to optimise your tooth movement during orthodontic treatment. Not wearing them long enough could actually lead to increased time in braces.

Because our teeth have stretchy ligaments around them, it’s essential to wear the brace elastics to prevent teeth from reverting to their previous position.

Will I Need to Wear Brace Bands?

Not every orthodontic patient will need elastics, but most do. To learn more about how to improve your smile with braces or clear aligners, contact our office to reserve a no-obligation assessment. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have!

Any invasive or surgical procedure may carry risks. Before moving forward, it is recommended that you seek a second opinion from an appropriately licensed medical professional.

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